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Bury Mount, Towcester

Client: South Northamptonshire Council

Location: Towcester

Cost: £600K

Area: N/A

Project Type: Competitions / Heritage & Culture

The restoration of Bury Mount, originally a medieval motte, launches heritage-led regeneration of the wider Moat Lane area of Towcester. A high quality, sustainable, flexible and accessible public space has been created, setting the standard for subsequent development, whilst stabilising and protecting the Scheduled Ancient Monument. Bury Mount successfully reconnects the site (dismissed by the community as wasteland used for anti-social activities) both physically and culturally with the linear and road-dominated town centre, giving it greater physical depth and revealing a fascinating narrative of its evolution. From concept to detail the philosophy was to communicate the site’s history and distinctive sense of place unambiguously yet sensitively, elegantly yet robustly and simply.

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XQLA's role was that of lead consultant, managing a multidisciplinary team of sub-consultants and specialist subcontractors, liaising with the project steering group and statutory bodies (Highways Authority, English Heritage, Environment Agency, Natural England), developing designs from outline proposals to completion, producing exhibition materials, attending consultation events and submitting necessary applications and consents.

Bespoke timberwork and stone engraving (including sustainably sourced ironstone) was designed in collaboration with local craftsmen to ensure the unique nature of the place resonated through the scheme. The finished result was so well received that it has since been showcased in both English Heritages’ and Landscape Institute Good Practice Guidance.

For the client, the scheme has set the tone for Phase 2 of the town’s regeneration initiative, set to lever in £40 million of private inward investment. The Landscape Profession benefits from the demonstration of how a heritage-led scheme can produce a fresh, contemporary result with far-reaching strategic gains for the present and future. The public has a new, inviting, locally distinctive, flexible and well used public green space at the heart of Towcester, without the degrading effect of traffic. Environmentally, the scheme has enhanced the biodiversity of the area, addressed the undersupply of green infrastructure and encourages sustainable modes of transport.